Culture is an important aspect of the development of the personality and individuality of each person. This concept generally encompasses almost all of the humanistic characteristics of people binding them together for their cultural community and individual identifying them from the general society. As people develop adhering to certain culture, their personal development is greatly affected from it influencing their lifestyle, way of thinking, social perspective and personal values. Indeed, culture is an important aspect for the determination of one’s personal qualities and characteristics.
Culture affects most of the social aspects in one community. One of which is the mode and style of parenting and family management of the adults in each respective society characterizing them respectively from the whole general community. In this aspect, the cultural values and ideas of each society significantly affect their parenting styles and means particularly the views of each society towards disciplinary actions, relationship bonding, and aspect of parenting. An intrinsic and critical study of three specific societies including their similarities and differences in their parenting styles and views as an influence by their culture will characteristically elaborate the said idea regarding the relationship of culture and family concept.
Different societies have different cultures hence, their perspective regarding the concept of family is also significantly different as their culture affects their social values towards this issue. Consider for example the views and perspective of the cultural community of the Japanese, Thai people, and Germans. Each of these societies has their own styles and characteristics regarding their views on family planning and parenting concept some of it makes them similar to the other and some makes them unique among the general society. Through an intrinsic study and analysis, this paper wishes to present that the common characteristics of the styles and values of the mentioned societies is mainly rooted on their cultural system manifested to the general characteristics of the respective societies.
In the Japanese society, the concept of family planning falls under a strict consideration wherein the union bond of marriage is highly perceive by their social view and culture to be highly moralized. Marriage must be conducted under their strict social norm and traditions such as the stability of the husband as the head and breadwinner of the family must be followed and the idea of the wife being the household caretaker must also be observed. Under these standards that marriage in Japanese culture is implemented. Regarding children and family planning, rearing up the couple’s offspring is highly traditional wherein the boys are brought up as the secular workers and the girls are trained in household works.
The size and quantity of the family is disregarded as the quality of the children particularly in the social tenure is the basic criterion that is being considered in weighing the success of the family as a whole. This means that the parenting style under the Japanese culture is likewise traditional as children are brought up according to their normative cultural styles. Intimacy such as touch and personal contact particularly between the father and son is not widely practice as values of dignity, pride and self composure are highly promoted. In this aspect, even in the relationship of parents and children, there are some personal boundaries that must be followed especially the authority of the parents and the strict subordination and obedience of the children (Coleman, 1992).
On contrast to the japans culture, in Thailand, family planning and parenting styles are largely influence by their religious culture and norms which is considerable liberated compare to the Japanese society. Their family concept is largely influence by their culture of “freedom from rules as long as without offending the others”. For this reason, marital bonds that are viewed as illegitimate in other culture are acceptable to the Thai society namely homosexual relationship. In parenting, likewise with the Japanese, Thai people also implement high regard for parent’s authority however the observance of this concept including the children’s subordination is loosely defined in their culture. Parents must care and nurture their children and children must follow them as a response however, this does not limit the capabilities and liberalism of the children. Freedom of oneself is socially acceptable as long as this does not offend the personal rights of other individuals (Shevasung & Hogan, 1979).
On contrast to the two, the German society also has its own characteristics and style in relation to the family and parenting concept. According to a certain interview conducted through electronic media with a researcher in information ethics under the organization of Buscher Medai, Mr. Friedhelm Schumacher elaborated that German society also has a strict social norms regarding family issues yet not that stern as the Japanese society. Germans expect high on the union of marriage in their society as people view this as a way for social development. In this aspect, couples must strive to live up to the social expectation resorting to either childless couple devoted to professional work or producing children that have high capabilities and potentials. Because of this, parenting style in this society is likewise strict as social norm obliged the parents to teach and train their children to become the next promising generations. In this aspect, authority and respect are strictly followed yet children’s subordination is vaguely defined as parents aim to develop the personal freedom of their children.
Thus, culture indeed has a significant impact on the society particularly on their views, norms and lifestyle including their family views and parenting styles. As culture is basically different from one society to the other, the characteristics of the social norms regarding family issues are unique rooted in their respective cultures. Because of this, each society maintains the individuality of their cultural heritage and social value through developing their next generations under their traditional cultural system as they each aim to promote and develop their own respective social and cultural diversity.
- Coleman, Samuel (1992). Family Planning in Japanese Society. Princeton University Press. Reprint Ed. ISBN: 0-691-028-651.
- Schumacher, Friedhelm (2007). Buscher Media. Baden, Germany.
- Shevasung, Somphong & Hogan, Dennis (1979). Fertility and Family Planning in Rural Northern Thailand. University of Chicago, Community & family Study Center. ISBN: 0-898-360-129.